Late Night: Stephen Colbert sticks up for illegal immigrants
As he lamented on last night's "Colbert Report," "Our country’s tomato industry is plum screwed." Alabama recently enacted the toughest immigration laws in the country, and, as a result, migrant workers have left the state in droves. Colbert joked that "Hispanic farm workers have fled Alabama, stealing yet another thing Americans would like to do."
The mass exodus has left many farmers in the state without enough laborers to harvest their crops, and Americans are hardly lining up to fill the vacancies. One frustrated Alabamian farmer claimed, "They’re not as hard workers as the Hispanics."
For Colbert, who last year spent a day working as a farm laborer and then testified about the experience before a House subcommittee, it was a moment to gloat.
"I’m not the kind of guy who says, 'I told you so.' I’m the kind of guy who makes it a banner," he said, as a banner reading "I told you so" unfurled behind him.
Some farmers in Alabama have resorted to using prison inmates to reap the harvest, but this hasn't exactly worked out either. "Turns out Americans who’ve chosen a life of crime don’t have quite the same work ethic as Guatemalans who’ve walked through 500 miles of desert to feed their children," Colbert said.
His solution? Round up all the immigrants, throw them in jail, then force them to pick crops as prison labor.
Colbert ended on an (almost) serious note. "To preserve our precious BLTs, we must do whatever it takes, other than offer these people any rights."
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|Alabama's Migrant Workers|
-- Meredith Blake
Photo: Stephen Colbert. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times